Rugby can help tackle homophobia

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Rugby can lead the fight against homophobia, the sport’s chief said last night.

Unveiling a new poster campaign against homophobia, Bob Rogers, the president of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said the pastime’s values of respect can help create an impact on wider society.

The RFU joined with gay rugby team the Kings Cross Steelers and the Metropolitan Police at Scotland Yard last night to launch the campaign.

Mr Rogers told that playing rugby helps teach good behaviour, “Working together benefits everyone, disruptions benefit nobody.”

He suggested that it would be interesting to see the link between those who play rugby and those who commit crime.

The message is based on the Football Association’s Kick Racism Out of Football campaign, which also includes homophobia, posters will be displayed at sporting venues in changing rooms and where participants and spectators gather.

Rose Fitzpatrick, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Diversity and Citizen Focus, said: “We are reaching out into place s where people are living ordinary lives and where they play sport

“It’s not just about going to gay venues but reaching other areas.”

The event coincided with the 11th anniversary of gay rugby club the Kings Cross Steelers, Sean Robertson, the side’s chairman, told “Rugby doesn’t have problems with homophobia like other sports.

“The game teaches tolerance, respect and sportsmanship.”

He said rugby can use these values to lead the campaign “from the front.”